Rizal in London

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  • Topic: Philippine Revolution, Katipunan, Manila
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La Liga Filipina

La Liga Filipina (English: The Philippine League) was a progressive organization created by Dr. José Rizal in the Philippines in the house of Doroteo Ongjunco at Ilaya Street, Tondo, Manila in 1892. The organization derived from La Solidaridad and the Propaganda movement. The purpose of La Liga Filipina is to build a new group sought to involve the people directly in the reform movement. The league was to be a sort of mutual aid and self-help society dispensing scholarship funds and legal aid, loaning capital and setting up cooperatives, the league became a threat to Spanish authorities that they arrested Rizal on July 6, 1892 on Dapitan. During the exile of Rizal, The organization became inactive, through the efforts of Domingo Franco and Andres Bonifacio, it was reorganized. The organization decided to declare its support for La Solidaridad and the reforms it advocated, raise funds for the paper, and defray the expenses of deputies advocating reforms for the country before the Spanish Cortes. Eventually after some disarray in the leadership of the group, the Supreme Council of the League dissolved the society. The Liga membership split into two groups: the conservatives formed the Cuerpo de Compromisarios which pledged to continue supporting the La Solidaridad while the radicals led by Bonifacio devoted themselves to a new and secret society the Katipunan.

In 1892, Jose Rizal (full name: Jose Protacio Mercado Rizal y Alonzo) returned to the Philippines and proposed the establishment of a civic organization called “La Liga Filipina.” On July 3, 1892, the following were elected as its officers: Ambrosio Salvador, president: Agustin dela Rosa, fiscal; Bonifacio Arevalo, treasurer; and Deodato Arellano, secretary. Rizal functioned as its adviser.

La Liga Filipina aimed to:

▪ Unite the whole country
▪ Protect and assist all members
▪ Fight violence and injustice
▪ Support education
▪ Study and implement reforms

La Liga Filipina had no intention of rising up in arms against the government; but the Spanish officials still felt threatened. On July 6, 1892 only three days after La LigaFilipina’s establishment, Jose Rizal was secretly arrested. The next day, Governor General Eulogio Despujol ordered Rizal’s deportation to Dapitan, a small, secluded town in Zamboanga.

La Liga Filipina's membership was active in the beginning; but later, they began to drift apart. The richer members wanted to continue supporting the Propaganda Movement; but the others seemed to have lost all hope that reforms could still be granted. Andres Bonifacio was one of those who believed that the only way to achieve meaningful change was through a bloody revolution.

La Solidaridad

In order to help achieve its goals, the Propaganda Movement put up its own newspaper, called La Solidaridad. The Soli, as the reformists fondly called their official organ, came out once every two weeks. The first issue saw print was published on November 15, 1895.

The Solidaridad’s first editor was Graciano Lopez Jaena. Marcelo H. Del Pilar took over in October 1889. Del Pilar managed the Soli until it stopped publication due to lack of funds.

Why the Propaganda Movement Failed

The propaganda movement did not succeed in its pursuit of reforms. The colonial government did not agree to any of its demands. Spain itself was undergoing a lot of internal problems all that time, which could explain why the mother country failed to heed the Filipino’s petitions. The friars, on the other hand, were at the height of their power and displayed even more arrogance in flaunting their influence. They had neither the time nor the desire to listen to the voice of the people.

Many of the reformists showed a deep love for their country, although they still failed to maintain a united front. Because most of them belonged to the upper middle class, they had to exercise caution in order to safeguard their wealth and other private interests....
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